I’m not sure why or how it took me so long to discover Lovesick. I remember it coming out back in 2014 (although it was called Scrotal Recall at the time), but for some reason I didn’t immediately watch it. So, as is the case nowadays with many TV series, I found it browsing through Netflix (after Netflix had commissioned a second series released just late last year) and within, I would say, about 2 days I had blasted through both series. Each episode is a perfect length of about 20-25 minutes, and there are 8 episodes in each series. That made it the perfect companion to a University, part time work, trying to figure my acting/writing/film career out lifestyle. Now here I am, 2 days later, feeling rather impressed at a show that is moreish and surprising.
There’s a film-making and writing quote, the source and exact wording of which has escaped my mind, but it talks of how in order to present the world with something different, you have to stick to some conventions. So essentially, in order to present an audience with a different spin of a conventional genre, you still have to compromise and ploy them with some form of recognisable convention to begin with. It’s a great thought, and I can’t help that Lovesick plays with that a little bit. The first episode of the first series opens up introducing us to a show that includes various typical conventions of a romantic comedy involving 20-somethings. The fickle romantic protagonist, the beautiful best friend, the sexually minded friend and the essential nerdier character. Except once you delve, even just a few more minutes in, you find the characters are a subtle twist on these conventional tropes. The characters and acting, in fact, are one of the shows greatest assets, along with its slick and humorous writing and exploration of atmosphere. The first reason the characters are so great is because they are the conventions that are more realistic, if that makes sense?
A lot of TV and film deals with “conventional” and “typical” characters that you might find in the real world, but gives them a little treatment in order to make them more attractive. In Lovesick, however, the fickle romantic Dylan (played by Johnny Flynn) is relatable, but there are also times when we do genuinely find him a bit annoying. I think that’s intentional, rightly so, we actually connect more to him and love him further, because he’s more real. Flynn delivers his performances with a wholesome immersion, a great balance between confidence and instability, somehow merging as if the same. The beautiful best friend Evie (one of my favourite characters) isn’t some wholly dependant and uber feminine example of older values. She is this ‘beautiful character’, but also highly opinionated, full of tangible sass and despite emotional moments, essentially strong. Antonia Thomas plays her as if it was written with her in mind, believable and endearing, she is a character that it is easy, rather appropriately to the show, to fall in love with.
The sexually minded friend, Luke, isn’t just that, he’s admittedly struggling and admits that his own sexually minded ways are a method of protection, or eventually confronts the reasons he acts as he does. Nevertheless Daniel Ings along with Angus (Joshua McGuire) the nerdier character, act in a more exuberant manner, which helps us to see them as more comic relief in many of the more emotional episodes. Joshua McGuire is the perfect comedy actor, in the way that he has a strong ability to harness the important messages that the show wants to communicate though jokes, but also knows how to keep their comedic value. Arguably in fact, Luke and Angus provide some of the more hilarious moments of the show. Their eccentric behaviours also allows us to give even more dramatic attention to Dylan and Evie, the two characters the show seems to prioritise that little more over others. While Luke and Angus are more eccentric, it does not stop them developing their own, equally respectable sub-plots. It is not always just Dylan and his ex’s, not just Evie and Dylan, not just Evie and her life, its everyone and every story that comes under their radar. In a good way, it doesn’t become messy or overdone, just clean and well developed.
Lovesick is a show that is thoroughly enjoyable to watch, and consistently funny. The characters and the connection we develop early on with them, shows just how strong TV characters can be. The way the performances are delivered allow us to believe everything we hear and see, however silly or serious. There is also a level of visible comfort from the actors, that I can’t help but feel they’re enjoying what they’re doing as well, which naturally makes the experience all the more wonderful. The comedy and the connections feel natural, and almost improvised at points? Either way it has me motivated again to keep searching for my own auditions, and continue writing my own stuff. Good TV and film always has the power to inspire and influence. I look forward to the next series.
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️